In our lives we see glimmers of the King of kings. It may not be a form of governance any of us hope for today, but monarchy was how the people of the Bible understood their world and God.
We don’t understand monarchy in the United States, because we mostly remember the worst examples of megalomaniacs and dictators. But a true king, a ruler in line with God’s image of rule, is servant to his people. He sets and keeps the boundaries of the land. He embodies the law and enacts it. He provides for the care and welfare of his people. Perhaps the best model of monarch in our lifetimes is Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. For her faults, which some part of the British press is happy to list, she understands herself as servant of the people and nation.
God is King of kings, a title pronounced of Jesus before his birth, in the prophets. Jesus says of leadership in the kingdom of God, “The rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, but it is not to be so with you. The greatest among you should be least of all and servant of all.”
Being a servant is not humiliating in the rule of the heavens, but it is the closest to kingship, even the closest to God.
In your work, who are you servant to? In your home, whom do you serve? Even if you are boss of bosses, you serve the people who work for you if you are at all like the King of heaven.
For us committed to following Jesus, this means that we must see ourselves as serving ever more as we grow, and if we are to let the people around us know when they are great, we must let them serve us when they offer it.
This past weekend as we celebrated a large life that bore glimmers of the King, there were shining moments of servanthood by many volunteers and employees that did not go unnoticed. The kingdom came shining through in bottles of water and directional signs and ice cream bars and warm words of welcome.
Blessed be the King and all his sons and daughters.